Tag:Mock Draft
Posted on: May 22, 2011 12:48 pm
Edited on: May 22, 2011 12:52 pm
 

Jimmer Fredette: The people want me in Utah

BYU guard Jimmer Fredette says that he is the people's choice in Utah. Posted by Ben Golliver. jimmer-fredette

As a big-time scorer for BYU, guard Jimmer Fredette became a household name nationwide. But that level of fame pales in comparison to his standing in Utah, where he's a true phenomenon. Indeed, local pressure on the Utah Jazz to draft him and keep him within the state's borders has been immense for months.

Fredette isn't bothering to pretend that he can't hear those voices. Speaking to the Deseret News at the Chicago pre-draft combine, Fredette made it clear that he knows he's the people's choice.
"That's what the people want," Fredette said of being drafted by the Jazz. "But I don't think (Jazz officials) should make the decision on what the people want. They ought to make a decision on what they think is best for their personnel. If I go there, it's great. If not, I'll be somewhere else. So I'm just looking forward to where it's at."
He even talks like a larger-than-life phenom. "The people." It's like he's delivering his pre-draft interviews from on top of a mount.

On the bright side, at least he didn't say: "The people want The Jimmer."

Anyway, Fredette signaled that the Jazz are interested in drafting him, telling the paper: "They definitely like me... I know they're definitely interested. So we'll see how it goes."

Fredette also noted that he will work out for the Jazz and that he has received positive reviews from the Phoenix Suns and Indiana Pacers as well.

Given that Utah holds both the No. 3 pick and the No. 12 pick and that the team needs a new face of the franchise after trading All-Star point guard Deron Williams to the New Jersey Nets, there's a decent chance that "the people" get their wish on this one.
Posted on: May 17, 2011 11:20 pm
Edited on: May 18, 2011 12:06 am
 

Post-Lottery NBA Mock Draft by Ben Golliver

The NBA Lottery was held Tuesday night. The Cleveland Cavaliers landed the No.1 overall spot. Here's a first take mock draft reflecting the lottery results. This mock draft is by Ben Golliver, EOB Blogger.

kyrie-irving

1. Cleveland Cavaliers – Kyrie Irving: A mature, talented point guard with good size and a solid offensive game. He makes his teammates better, and that’s exactly what Cleveland needs.

2. Minnesota Timberwolves -- Derrick Williams: After failing to win more than 24 games in the last four seasons, star potential is at a premium. Williams’ ability to play on the perimeter should complement Kevin Love nicely.

3. Utah Jazz – Brandon Knight: The Jazz, like just about everyone, can use a point guard of the future. Knight, a scorer and playmaker with excellent upside, fits the bill.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers – Bismack Biyombo: This might raise some eyebrows, but the Cavaliers need a ready-right-now, physical specimen like Biyombo and can afford a bit of a risk with Irving already in hand.

5. Toronto Raptors – Enes Kanter: The Raptors know full well that Andrea Bargnani needs a wide-bodied low-post presence to play next to him, and Kanter is the best bet.

6. Washington Wizards -- Kawhi Leonard: The Wizards need help at positions 2-4 and Leonard’s energy and athleticism will fill the gaping lineup hole between franchise point guard John Wall and developing big man JaVale McGee.

7. Sacramento Kings – Kemba Walker: Tyreke Evans is probably better as a two long-term. The Kings would probably prefer Knight, but Walker is an excellent consolation prize and yet another exciting puzzle piece on a roster full of them.

8. Detroit Pistons – Jonas Valanciunas: Does Joe Dumars dare go dipping back into the European well? If so, Valanciunas could make a nice post pairing with All-Rookie snub Greg Monroe.

9. Charlotte Bobcats – Tristan Thompson: Thompson doesn’t have the inside-out versatility to replace Gerald Wallace but he does bring elite physicality and excellent defensive tools.

10. Milwaukee Bucks – Alec Burks: The Bucks need a floor-spacer to pair with Brandon Jennings and Burks fits that bill.

11. Golden State Warriors – Jan Vesely: Whether Vesely is truly a small forward remains an open question, but he’s long and has highlight film potential. If the Warriors stick with their push-the-pace mentality under a new coach, he could be a fit.

12. Utah Jazz – Donatas Motiejunas: If the Jazz opt for a guard with their top selection, they can do worse than Motiejunas, who once drew “poor man’s Dirk” comparisons. His ceiling has come down a bit, but he can score and has excellent vision.

13. Phoenix Suns – Marcus Morris: The Suns have a lot of mismatched pieces in the frontcourt, but Steve Nash can always use a power forward that can play both inside and out and has some offensive game.

14. Houston Rockets – Jordan Hamilton: There’s no Yao Ming at No. 1 this year, let alone No. 14, so the Rockets look to mine the undervalued asset route, snagging a wing scorer who has had a rocky road to the NBA.

15. Indiana Pacers – Klay Thompson: Paul George has been a revelation but another knockdown shooter in the backcourt wouldn’t hurt.

16. Philadelphia 76ers – Markieff Morris: When in doubt, add a talented big man to the frontcourt. The Sixers have some contract decisions to make after next season.

17. New York Knicks – Chris Singleton: The Knicks will look to address their hole in the middle via free agency but Singleton adds much needed defensive intensity to the wings.

18. Washington Wizards – Kenneth Faried: A bottom five rebounding team, Washington would do well to grab this group’s most obvious board-cleaning specialist.

19. Charlotte Bobcats – Nolan Smith: Best available ACC player on the board. Plus the Bobcats need a point guard.

20. Minnesota Timberwolves -- Jimmer Fredette: Maybe the most David Kahn pick of all time.

21. Portland Trail Blazers – Davis Bertans: The Blazers are at a roster crossroads and need to replenish their coffers after a bunch of consolidation trades. Bertans is a long, versatile forward, can shoot the rock and could be a nice future asset.

22. Denver Nuggets – Tobias Harris: With Carmelo Anthony gone, there’s a pothole at the three. Harris can’t fill it, not even close, but he can get buckets.

23. Houston Rockets – Lucas Nogueira: Daryl Morey has said that sometimes you need to swing for the fences in the draft. Nogueira is rail-thin but has such incredible height and length that he can nearly dunk while standing on his tiptoes.

24. Oklahoma City Thunder – Nikola Mirotic: With a beautifully constructed rotation, the Thunder have the luxury of snapping up the best available European without worrying about the contract situation that could keep him overseas for awhile.

25. Boston Celtics – Trey Thompkins: With Glen Davis likely headed out in free agency, Thompkins can plug the “needs to be in better shape, can surprise you every once in awhile” hole.

26. Dallas Mavericks – Josh Selby: The Mavericks need to add to their aging backcourt and the undersized scoring two guard has been a productive staple for Dallas for years. Could make an electric pair with Rodrigue Beaubois someday.

27. New Jersey Nets – Tyler Honeycutt: Travis Outlaw has been kind of a disaster and the Nets’ small forward was one of the worst positions in the entire NBA. Honeycutt probably isn’t a long-term answer but the pickings are slim.

28. Chicago Bulls – Travis Leslie: The Bulls really need a floor-spacing shooter at the two spot, but would settle for the remarkable athlete who would make the “Bench Mob” that much scarier.

29. San Antonio Spurs – Kyle Singler: Incredibly intelligent, competitive forward who would kill to have the opportunity to play for Gregg Popovich.

30. Chicago Bulls – Marshon Brooks: Another off-the-dribble threat for the Bulls. Maybe he can prove to be the shooter they need but, if not, there are other elements to his game.
Posted on: May 17, 2011 11:18 pm
Edited on: May 18, 2011 12:07 am
 

NBA Mock Draft v.3.0 by Dave Del Grande

The NBA Lottery was held Tuesday night, with the Cleveland Cavliers landing the No.1 overall spot, and the UtahJazz moving up to the No. 3 position. Here's our immediate mock draft reflecting the lottery results. This mock draft is by Dave Del Grande, EOB Blogger. 

Posted by Dave Del Grande

derrick-williams


Where’s Jared Sullinger when you need him?

The Cleveland Cavaliers could sure use the homegrown Ohio State standout, much as they parlayed fellow Buckeye State native LeBron James into seven memorable seasons earlier this decade.

Alas, Sullinger has decided to return to Ohio State for his sophomore season, no doubt believing he’d be surrounding himself with better talent than the Cavs had on display this past season.

But now with the first and fourth picks of the 2011 draft, that could be about to change.

So what do the Cavs do with the top pick? The good news is: They could use a little of everything. OK, maybe a lot of everything.

The next James could be nice. Heck, even the next Kevin Durant.

That guy probably doesn’t exist in the 2011 draft crop. But surely the prospect who comes closest to fitting the mold is Arizona swingman Derrick Williams.

You might have seen the two-year collegian play, but chances are you’ve never noticed his height and weight: 6-foot-8, 241 pounds. Hmmm … very James-like.

Whether he’s got the feet to fit into those big shoes is another matter.

Here’s my first mock projection of the 2011 NBA Draft.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers (from L.A. Clippers) -- Derrick Williams, SF, Arizona.
If they’d known dealing Mo Williams was going to bring them the No. 1 pick in the draft, they’d have done it a lot earlier. Chances are, this Williams will have a far greater impact.

2. Minnesota Timberwolves -- Kyrie Irving, PG, Duke. Falling out of the No. 1 spot isn’t a big deal for the Timberwolves. In fact, they’d probably like to see Irving go first, because, truth be told, they’ve drafted enough point guards in recent years.

3. Utah Jazz (from New Jersey) -- Enes Kanter, C, Kentucky. Don’t be surprised if the Jazz attempt to package their picks to move up, because the dropoff from 2 to 3 in this year’s available talent is sizable. No doubt, Utah has its eyes on a certain BYU little guy at No. 12, so a big man is the obvious choice here.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers -- Brandon Knight, PG, Kentucky. The best thing about being the least talented team in the league is it makes draft night easy. You simply take the best available athlete that doesn’t duplicate the guy you’ve already selected.

5. Toronto Raptors -- Kemba Walker, PG, Connecticut. Several international prospects are projected in the Top 10, but the Raptors are already overloaded with them. The Big East Conference standout will give American fans in the Northeast a reason to cross the border.

6. Washington Wizards-- Jan Vesely, C, Czech Republic. Yes, it’s early, but here is where the 2011 draft becomes a bit anonymous. The Wizards need a big man, and arguably the best three available at this point are foreigners. Roll the international tapes.

7. Sacramento Kings -- Jimmer Fredette PG, BYU. Saved by the bell at the end of the 2010-11 season, the Kings' franchise desperately needs a ticket-seller more than any in the league. Few have fascinated the masses more than Fredette this past season.

8. Detroit Pistons -- Donatas Motiejunas, C, Lithuania. Here’s another candidate to move up, dangling at least one of their underachieving, highly-paid talents. Yeah, that’s more likely to move them down than up, but given the early run on their position of need (point guard), the Pistons have to try something.

9. Charlotte Bobcats -- Kawhi Leonard, SF, San Diego State. The Bobcats would love to discover a reincarnation of a young Gerald Wallace. They might have had to win the lottery to accomplish that feat, but at least Leonard is better than what they have.

10. Milwaukee Bucks -- Bismark Biyembo, PF, Spain. The Bucks believe they’re ready to win now, so they’re looking for experience. Biyembo is a far greater talent than the best remaining collegiate senior.

11. Golden State Warriors  -- Jonas Valanciunas, PF, Lithuania. You might recall the last Lithuanian the Warriors drafted – Sarunas Marciulionis. That worked out well. This could, too, as he would address the club’s greatest need.

12. Utah Jazz -- Alec Burks, SG, Colorado. If they knew Fredette would be done by 12, I wouldn’t put it past the Jazz to take him at No. 3. That said, Burks might be a better fit for what the club needs – a deadly long-range shooter who can actually defend a bit.

13. Phoenix Suns -- Klay Thompson, SG, Washington State. Dealing Jason Richardson for Vince Carter was a mistake, so the goal here is finding a Richardson facsimile. Remarkably, Thompson looks the part.

14. Houston Rockets -- Marcus Morris, PF, Kansas. The Rockets have to be careful here. Their chief need is a center if Yao Ming doesn’t return. But if they draft a center, then maybe they'd be giving the big guy a reason not to come back. Morris can be sold as a sidekick.

15. Indiana Pacers -- Tristan Thompson, PF, Texas. The early run on point guards helps some talented power forwards slip through the lottery. You won’t hear the Pacers complaining.

16. Philadelphia 76ers -- Markief Morris, PF, Kansas. The 76ers need someone more like Samuel Dalembert, but he doesn’t exist this low in the draft. So taking the most defensive minded power forward has to suffice.

17. New York Knicks -- Chris Singleton, PF, Florida State. The Knicks are another team desperate for a defensive presence in the middle. Maybe Singleton can turn into a Tyson Chandler type. Then again, maybe not.

18. Washington Wizards (from Atlanta) -- Jordan Hamilton, SF, Texas. The run on big men in the middle of the round helps convince the Wizards going big early on was a wise choice. The slick Hamilton has a lot more potential here than someone taller.

19. Charlotte Bobcats (from New Orleans) -- Nolan Smith, PG, Duke. Neither of the remaining Duke prospects is Kyrie Irving, who would be the answer to the Hornets’ dreams. Smith makes a lot more sense as a hometown selection at this point than Kyle Singler.

20. Minnesota  Timberwolves (from Memphis) -- Tobias Harris, SF, Tennessee. Recent history warns us the Timberwolves are more likely to draft a point guard here now that they’ve just taken another. But this time around, brighter minds should prevail.

21. Portland Trail Blazers -- Tyler Honeycutt, SF, UCLA. The freshman has the potential to be taken a lot higher, but he doesn’t have the size most of the teams immediately north of the Trail Blazers in the draft covet. So Portland gets a nice value here.

22. Denver Nuggets-- Jordan Williams, C, Maryland. The run on foreign big men who’ll never come to America is about to start, but unlike many of the teams in the high-rent district, the Nuggets actually need a center who can play.

23. Houston Rockets (from Orlando) -- Lucas Riva Nogueira, C, Brazil. Luis Scola might be a South American rival on the international trail, but they’d make a nice side-by-side tandem on any court. Of course, the Brazilian will be Yao’s backup (wink, wink).

24. Oklahoma City Thunder -- Reggie Jackson, PG, Boston College. The Mavericks are said to have a big depth advantage over the Thunder in the Western finals. This selection helps Oklahoma City close that gap.

25. Boston Celtics--Davis Bertans, SF, Slovenia. Replacing Kendrick Perkins is the club’s top priority. The slender European isn’t exactly the guy, but at least he’s tall.

26. Dallas Mavericks-- Kyle Singler, SF, Duke. The Mavericks are as deep as any team in the league, so it’s unlikely anyone taken at this point will crack the rotation. But rest assured the hard-working Singler will give it a go.

27. New Jersey Nets (from L.A. Lakers) --JaJuan Johnson, PF, Purdue. It’s going to sting watching the Jazz use the Nets’ pick to take the third-best talent in the draft. But this Big Ten standout has a chance to contribute right away nonetheless.

28. Chicago Bulls (from Miami) --Kenneth Faried, PF, Morehead State. Most teams consider low first-rounders as the worst picks in the draft because of their two-year guarantees. The only thing worse is having two of them.

29. San Antonio Spurs --Trey Thompkins, PF, Georgia. Life could be worse than making a seven-figure guaranteed salary to learn the NBA game from Tim Duncan. It’s worked well so far for DeJuan Blair.

30. Chicago Bulls --Nikola Mirotic, PF, Serbia. It’s best-available-athlete-who’s-least-likely-to-cross-the-p
ond time. At least it’ll give Mirotic a rooting interest next spring.
Posted on: May 17, 2011 11:02 pm
Edited on: May 18, 2011 12:06 am
 

Post-Lottery NBA Mock Draft v.3.1 by Matt Moore

The NBA Lottery was held Tuesday night, with the Cleveland Cavliers landing the No.1 overall spot, and the Utah Jazz moving up to the No. 3 position. Here's our immediate mock draft reflecting the lottery results. This mock draft is by Matt Moore, EOB Blogger. 

Posted by Matt Moore

kyrie-irving-5

1. Cleveland Cavaliers -- Kyrie Irving: The Cavs have to start over and just got a chance to do that. Irving is the consensus best player in the draft. Young, explosive, with an actual jumper, Irving's only questions is a toe injury that he returned from to dominate the NCAA tournament. He'll make for a great building block. The only question now: "Who's dumb enough to take Baron Davis off our hands?"

2. Minnesota Timberwolves -- Derrick Williams. The small-ball lineups for the Wolves next year with Williams at PF and Love at C are going to be awesome. Wes Johnson may spend more time at the 2 with Williams on board. If David Kahn can connive Ricky Rubio to come over, the Wolves are going to improve, finally. If Kahn doesn't screw this up.

3. Utah Jazz -- Brandon Knight. Knight's going to play in combo sets with Devin Harris. If he develops into a better PG, great, they can move Devin Harris. If he doesn't, he'll be an undersized SG, but still a legit scoring threat.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers -- Jonas Valanciunas. You've got the PG, get the big man. Valanciunas is the lone Euro big in this draft who really impresses on the glass and off the pick and roll. 6-11, 240, he and Kyrie can set a new tone in Cleveland.

5. Toronto Raptors -- Jan Vesely. 6-11 forward with aggression. He's a Euro, which is going to mean Colangelo catching flak, but he's the best option. DeRozan slides to the 2 and Vesely's aggression gives the Raptors some much needed attitude.

6. Washington Wizards -- Kawhi Leonard. Kemba Walker's too small to pair with Wall, and the Euro bigs don't help with JaVale McGee and Blatch on roster. Leonard gives the Wizards a talented all-around SF to build around with Wall.

7. Sacramento Kings -- Kemba Walker. Well, the Kings have great size in the backcourt already with Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton. Kemba Walker's not a great fit. He's small, a scorer, and could be a defensive liability. But he's Best Player Available, and the Kings don't have time for a project center.

8. Detroit Pistons -- Enes Kanter. Twin towers with Monroe. 'Nuff said.

9. Charlotte Bobcats -- Donatas Motiejunas. Well the Bobcats' future isn't super bright, so they can afford a project. Motiejunas isn't a great rebounder, but with Tyrus Thomas, maybe he doesn't have to be. Having a versatile low-post big man will help them, provided Jordan doesn't Kwame him.

10. Milwaukee Bucks -- Alec Burks. Bucks need scoring. Burks is a pure scorer. Happily ever after.

11. Golden State Warriors -- Bismack Biyombo. A project for a team with a long-term vision. Incredible physical tools and some explosiveness. Right system, Biyombo's a star. Wrong system, he's a bust.

12. Utah Jazz -- Marcus Morris. A terrible spot for Utah with all the raw size off the board. Morris allows for a trade of Millsap or Jefferson if they don't move the pick itself.

13. Phoenix Suns -- Tobias Harris. Versatility is the Suns' game. Harris' biggest liability is defense. The Suns don't defend much. Convenient.

14. Houston Rockets -- Tristan Thompson. Rough spot for the Rockets as well. Thompson is high-upside, and the Rockets can hope that he can play in some versatile lineups.

15. Indiana Pacers -- Josh Selby. Hey, you can't swing and miss on every Kansas shooting guard, right? Selby's a reach here, but his impressive workouts at Impact in Las Vegas could push him here.

16. Philadelphia 76ers -- Lucas Nogueira. 7-0, high upside. The Sixers can afford to take a project with the core they have. Nogueira could replace Hawes by end of season if things go right, or be the long-term solution.

17. New York Knicks -- Jimmer Fredette. Big name star, explosive scorer, defensive issues limited by system (or exaggerated if you will). Fredette's an easy one here.

18. Washington Wizards -- Kenneth Faried. The Anti-Blatche.

19. Charlotte Bobcats -- Klay Thompson. Can spell Tyrus Thomas when he inevitably gets in foul trouble.

20. Minnesota Timberwolves -- Chris Singleton. Best player available for the Wolves.

21. Portland Trail Blazers -- Reggie Jackson. Nate McMillan says the backcourt must change. It starts here.

22. Denver Nuggets -- Jordan Hamilton. Hamilton falls among all the small forwards, and the Nuggets swoop him up with some big free agent questions lingering for them.

23. Houston Rockets -- Tyler Honeycutt. A solid player to work off-ball with Kyle Lowry and Kevin Martin. BPA theorem in effect (Best Player Available).

24. Oklahoma City Thunder -- Davis Bertans. High upside player falls to the Thunder. Perimeter scoring and good size. A Euro replacement for Jeff Green.

25. Boston Celtics -- Charles Jenkins. A versatile perimeter threat with handle, could provide the bench scoring that was so badly missing this year.

26. Dallas Mavericks -- Travis Leslie. Mavericks need wings. The end.

27. New Jersey Nets -- Kyle Singler. A high energy guy with touch to pair with Brook Lopez and never get any rebounds ever.

28. Chicago Bulls -- Nolan Smith. The Bulls need shooters. Smith's the closest thing to it at this point.

29. San Antonio Spurs -- Keith Benson. Anyone who rebounds will do here.

30. Chicago Bulls -- Darius Morris. Hey, they're loaded at every other position. Why not?
Posted on: April 4, 2011 6:43 pm
Edited on: April 5, 2011 7:11 pm
 

2011 NBA Mock Draft: Version 1.0

Here's an early look at the potential lottery picks in a 2011 NBA Mock Draft. Posted by Ben Golliver and Matt Moore.

kyrie-irving

With the NCAA Tournament wrapping up on Monday night, it's time to turn our attention to the upcoming 2011 NBA Draft. While many top players have still yet to declare their intentions, here's an early look at how the draft lottery could shake out. All vitals are courtesy of DraftExpress.com. Matt Moore and I take turns making picks for each team that isn't headed to the NBA playoffs.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers -- Kyrie Irving, PG, Duke, 19 years old, 6-foot-2, 185 pounds

When you're as desperate as Cleveland is in the wake of LeBron James's departure, reliability is the surest route to a comeback. Kyrie Irving is the risk-free pick at the top: He clearly has an NBA position, he has his head on his shoulders, he displays all the leadership qualities and intangibles to build around, and he can shoot the rock. The Cavaliers have needs everywhere but they need to walk before they can run. A reasonable best-case scenario in the short term is that Irving blossoms to carry a lesser cast to big things, a la a young Chris Paul; The worst-case is that you have a solid floor general locked in for years to come. -- BG

2. Minnesota Timberwolves -- Jonas Valanciunas, C, Lithuania, 18 years old, 6-11, 240 pounds

Valuncianas should not go 2 here. He just shouldn't, not with Derrick Williams and others still on this board. The problem is Williams is 3/4 combo forward. The Wolves spent multiple assets to acquire small forwards, to the point where drafting Williams or even Harrison Barnes would simply create a further logjam at the position. Considering David Kahn's comments in March about rebuilding being "over," they're not looking for that next piece. A shooting guard replacement would be ideal, but there's not a suitable fit on the board. Brandon Knight would be a slight reach, and projects better as a scoring point guard. Kemba Walker doesn't have the size. Point guard is out with Ricky Rubio notched as the franchise savior and the Wolves can't risk anything to push him away from coming over next year. Which leaves us with Valuncianas. A Euro center with great size and extreme upside. A project. Eventually the Wolves will want an upgrade over Darko Milicic and drafting Valuncianas as a project would allow for just that. Darko can mentor him! .. Please don't throw things, Wolves fans, we're trying to spin this nicely. -- MM

3. Washington Wizards -- Harrison Barnes, SF, North Carolina, 18 years old, 6-8, 210 pounds

The Wizards have been extremely active in overhauling their roster and they find themselves, finally, at the point where they can turn the corner and enter the upward arc of a rebuilding effort centered around point guard John Wall and promising (although sometimes perplexing) big man JaVale McGee. Barnes, a multi-dimensional scorer that can shoot, fills a huge need for a team whose offensive efficiency was third worst this season. He has the ability to play off of Wall but also create for himself, lessening the burden on Wall to be a one-man show. That was often the case this season, especially as injuries ripped apart the second half of Washington's season. Barnes has excellent size and his work ethic has drawn lots of praise, a huge plus for any young player entering a dysfunctional situation like Washington, a team that very well may have a new coach next season. -- BG

4. Toronto Raptors -- Derrick Williams, PF, Arizona, 19 years old, 6-8, 235 pounds

Bryan Colangelo can't believe his luck as Derrick Williams falls to the fourth spot here. Even with Ed Davis a promising young power forward, the Raptors go for Williams, the best overall prospect. A center with great rebounding abilities would be preferable, but there's just not one with talent to match Williams. Williams provides rebounding and scoring along with the ability to get to the line, the kind of tough attributes the Raptors desperately need. Brandon Knight and Perry Jones are other options here, but Williams allows for the Raptors to go with a big lineup of Bayless, DeRozan, Williams, Davis and Bargnani, which might cover some of Bargnani's defensive and rebounding issues. -- MM

5. Sacramento Kings – Perry Jones, PF, Baylor, 19 years old, 6-11, 220 pounds

The Maloofs are kicking themselves, wishing and praying that Williams would fall one more spot so that he could become the SoCal face of the new SoCal version of the franchise currently known as the Sacramento Kings. They pull it together and decide to swing for the moon, nabbing Perry Jones from Baylor after also giving consideration to Jan Vesely and Terrence Jones. The Kings ultimately talk themselves into Jones because his antipathy towards the paint and glass is manageable with DeMarcus Cousins in the middle and, should they relocate, they become, in effect, an expansion team. The risk and patience that Jones puts it together and reaches his potential as a long, dynamic scorer is worth it because expectations would be rock bottom in Anaheim. How will Jones play alongside Tyreke Evans? Who knows. But it's worth a shot. -- BG

6. Utah Jazz (from New Jersey Nets) -- Brandon Knight, PG, Kentucky, 18 years old, 6-3, 170 pounds

Knight serves two purposes for the rebuilding Jazz. One, he's the best talent available, a quick but not speedy point guard with something few point guards enter the league with: a jumper. Knight brings the ability to play either the 1 or 2, projecting as a combination game manager and spot-up shooter. Two, it gives the Jazz more options with their backcourt. They can move Devin Harris in trade (albeit with a remarkably lower trade value than he had months before) and start Knight at the point, or keep Harris and look to move the underwhelming combination of players at SG. Knight with Gordon Hayward is a frighteningly undersized 2-3 combo, but Millsap and Jefferson down low make a pretty decent combo to counter that. -- MM

7. Detroit Pistons -- Enes Kanter, C, Turkey, 18 years old, 6-10, 250 pounds

The Pistons were the most frustrating team to watch from afar this year, as professionalism evaporated on numerous occasions and management was unable to take the necessary steps to plot a future course with so much ownership uncertainty. Detroit really has terrible luck in this draft as they need a strong scoring two guard of the future but this year's crop is devoid of that kind of talent. While center Greg Monroe is their single best building block and it might seem strange to draft another big, Kanter is arguably the most talented player left on the board and his physical low-post nature would finally allow Detroit to move into the post-Ben Wallace era. Monroe has the mobility and passing skills to play the high pst in a solid high-low game and that could make for a nice partnership that allows the skinny Austin Daye to do his thing on the perimeter without putting the Pistons at a disadvantage on the glass, where they were a bottom five rebounding team this season. -- BG

8. Cleveland Cavaliers (from Los Angeles Clippers) -- Terrence Jones, SF, Kentucky, 6-8, 244 pounds

The Cavs go SCREAMING to the podium to get Jones as fast as humanly possible. J.J. Hickson becomes a nice trade chip and Irving-Jones gives them an immediate 1-2 punch off the pick and roll. Get them a coach who can actually develop talent (Byron Scott ain't it) and the Cavs have something going here. Jones finishes with authority, can play wing or big, could wind up as a solid all-around power forward, or a versatile power three. Imagine Jeff Green if he wanted to rebound with inferior range. The Jeff Green invert, kind of. -- MM

9. Milwaukee Bucks -- Alec Burks, SG, Colorado, 6-6, 200 pounds

The Bucks -- the NBA's least potent offense this season -- need scoring, especially from the wings. While he might be a bit of a reach at nine, Burks would make for a dynamic backcourt pairing with Brandon Jennings, giving Milwaukee two guards that can create and attack the paint. His lack of three-point range is definitely a limiting factor but with an offensive need so glaring, beggars can't be choosers here. -- BG

10. Golden State Warriors -- Donatas Motiejunas, PF, Lithuania, 20 years old, 7-0, 215 pounds

The Warriors BADLY need to land in the top five to get a crack at Perry Jones, but since they're not, this is going to have to do. Basically, it's an Andreis Biedrins fill-in, only bigger and with better range. Montiejunas could be a Pau Gasol clone. He could be the Euro Yi. But the Warriors need size. He's there. Have we mentioned this is a shallow draft for bigs? -- MM

11. Charlotte Bobcats -- Kemba Walker, PG, Connecticut, 20 years old, 6-0, 180 pounds

It's a bit too obvious to guess that Michael Jordan and company will draft the best available Tar Heel -- John Henson -- but that's definitely a possibility. If Kemba Walker slips this far, though, I'm not sure how the Bobcats pass on him, even if D.J. Augustin stepped up in a fairly big way last season. Walker's ceiling is higher than Augustin's and he has that star power swag that could help put fans in the seats in Charlotte. Really, he could be groomed to be the point guard of the future, assuming the Bobcats ever get around to having a future. -- BG

12. Utah Jazz -- Jimmer Frede ... KIDDING ... Jan Vesely, SF, Czech Republic, 20 years old, 6-11, 240 pounds

The Jazz need a bigger 3 that Gordon Hayward. They already addressed their guard situation with Brandon Knight. They have bigs, and there's no standout center available (it's a theme, you see). So what happens here? The Jazz draft insurance in case they are unable to retain Andrei Kirilenko with Vesely, who's a 6-11 SF. Long, athletic, with some upside for range shooting and great physical tools. He also tries to dunk on everyone. The Jazz need some aggression. Again, it's predictable, but not as predictable as Jimmer. That's a win. -- MM

13. Phoenix Suns -- Jimmer Fredette (NOT KIDDING), PG, BYU, 22 years old, 6-2, 195 pounds

Call me crazy but I'm not sure Jimmer drops this far. If he does, Phoenix shouldn't hesitate. If they decide to roll the dice with Steve Nash for another year, Jimmer is the ultimate spot-up shooting specialist to free up the pick-and-roll. If the Suns move Nash this summer, they will be in desperate need of Jimmer's hype factor and offensive prowess, not to mention someone that can handle the ball for a fair number of minutes. Is he likely to wind up disappointing fans in the short-term if he's the face of a Nash-less Suns team? Sure. But that team is going to be terrible anyway. -- BG

14. Houston Rockets -- Kawhi Leonard, SF, San Diego State, 19 years old, 6-7, 225 pounds

Well, the Rockets have their point guard going forward (Lowry), a great shooting guard (Martin), and are chock full at power forward. Again, a center would do wonders here, but yet again, no reasonable options. Loading up with another tweener power forward like Marcus Morris does no good. So the Rockets take Leonard, and he's a good fit. A counter to the spot-up Chase Budinger, Leonard provides handle and explosiveness in a small forward. He's able to attack the rim and work in the paint. A good rebounder helps at the small forward since, again, the no center thing. Leonard is a bit of a reach but he and Patrick Patterson could be devastating as a one-two punch in certain situations. -- MM
 
 
 
 
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